The much maligned Don McLeroy has a column in today's Bryan-College Station Eagle. Recall that McLeroy has been accused of a host of nefarious deeds, including recklessly disregarding the advice of education experts, causing the Texas State Board of Education to be “extremely dysfunctional,” fueling endless culture wars, and putting ideology and partisanship ahead of the schoolchildren of Texas. So what does McLeroy have to say for himself?
Well he starts right off with the ludicrous idea of teaching only science in science class. I can now see why everyone was so upset. McLeroy writes that there is no place for any ideology, religious or otherwise in science class. He obviously is up to no good. He also argues that students should be able to challenge untestable ideologies being taught as dogma. This of course will undermine the authority of the teacher and textbook.
We all agree with the need for, so-called, critical thinking. But McLeroy takes this to a dangerous extreme, essentially bringing anarchy to the classroom. Students need to be taught theories that everyone already knows are true. It profits no one for students to question the truth. Students may ask questions about theories, but not question the theories themselves. McLeroy fundamentally misunderstands what critical thinking is all about.
McLeroy's ulterior motives become all too obvious when he addresses the theory of evolution (which is really a fact). He thinks, of all things, that students should study evidence for common ancestry, such as in the fossil record. McLeroy would then allow these young, impressionable, students to question evolution.
It is hard to believe that we are even debating how to teach science. Students obviously need to be taught, and tested on, the truth. Questioning the truth will get them nowhere.